The Pentagon has released clarifying statements following controversial reports that soldiers who share their faith could face prosecution. News outlet Stars and Stripes reports:
It’s OK to evangelize. But it’s not OK to proselytize.
That’s what the Pentagon said Thursday, attempting to clarify its position on religious speech in uniform as controversy swirled up around press reports over possible prosecutions of troops for sharing their faith.
What it comes down to, officials said, is that discussing matters of faith and religious practice with a willing audience is allowed, but pushing religious beliefs on those who don’t want to hear it is a form of harassment forbidden under Defense Department policies.
According to USA Today 2012 GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a Roman Catholic, has chosen to ignore church teaching that homosexuality is a sin against God and now approves of homosexual couples adopting children. “Asked at a town-hall-style meeting Monday in Wisconsin about the issue, Ryan said he would “vote differently these days” and still opposes gay marriage. In 1999, the congressman voted in favor of banning same-sex couples in the District of Columbia from adopting.”
Associated Press reports:
The government on Tuesday lowered to 15 the age at which girls can buy the morning-after pill without a prescription and said the emergency contraception no longer has to be kept behind pharmacy counters.
Jesus said to him, ”If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matt. 19:21, NASB
The message of salvation that is normally preached or taught in the vast majority of churches these days has been contaminated with Humanism. The focus is on becoming a Christian for some great benefit or reward from God based upon little to no personal cost. Masses of people respond to that false gospel as well. The genuine gospel that our Saviour preached during His earthly ministry may have mentioned the benefits of being saved, but He emphasized the cost of becoming His disciple in such a way that it caused many of His hearers to not follow Him anymore. In fact, whenever He saw that the people were flocking to Him to have their felt needs met, He would speak a message to them that expressed that those who are His disciples are the ones who have counted the cost and have seen that the eternal is all that truly matters.
From Christian News Network :
A GOP group that was formed last year to help finance Republicans who support the homosexual lifestyle has now upped the ante with a new lobbying effort to convince Republican legislators to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.
Christian News Network reports:
A new undercover video released by a prominent pro-life organization shows an abortion worker explaining how a baby that is born alive after a failed abortion procedure would be placed into a jar of solution to be killed.
In December 2012, a poorly done parody of the pop song, “Call Me Maybe” circulated throughout the blogosphere. “Ordain a Lady” was a production created by the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), which describes itself as “the world’s oldest and largest organization working solely for the ordination of women as priests, deacons, and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic Church.” Some of the lyrics for the parody tune read as follows:
I had a dream as a girl,
Like Therese of Lisieux,
I need to give this whirl
So I can lead the way.
Woman priest is my call;
Women preaching for all.
Don’t listen to St. Paul,
‘Cuz I can lead the way.
My ministry is growing.
Excommunication? I’m still glowing.
M.Div, chasuble flowing;
Where you think the Church is going?
Hey, I was baptized, and this is crazy,
But God just called me, so ordain a lady!
Justice doesn’t look right, with only male priests,
But God just called me, so ordain a lady!
Four months later, Reuters tells the story of Rosemarie Smead, “a 70-year-old Kentucky woman [who] was ordained a priest on Saturday as part of a dissident group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority.” Though it has not been reported that Smead is affiliated with the aforementioned WOC, it nevertheless seems obvious that she and the group share similar goals. Continue reading
Justification by faith is focused on the cross of Jesus Christ. All that we are as Christians comes by the focus and clarity of the truth of the atoning death of Jesus Christ. Preaching Christ Crucified continues its series of studies in Romans.
Albuquerque’s KOAT reports:
Four people were stabbed at a church in northwest Albuquerque on Sunday, police said.
Investigators said the victims were stabbed at the St. Jude Thaddeus Church about 12:15 p.m. Sunday.
Witnesses said a man, who was identified as Lawrence Capener, 24, charged the choir just after communion yelling, “fake preacher!” and began stabbing choir members.
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12:1–2, NASB
One of the markers of genuineness in a Christian is separation from the world. This isn’t a physical removal from planet Earth or a disintegration of the body of a Christian. A genuine Christian’s character should be in a continual upgrade unto Christlikeness. That means that as he or she cooperates with God in their sanctification, working out their salvation with fear and trembling, their character will take on more and more of Christ’s character. They will love what He loves and hate what he hates. God is love, but He hates a certain type of love.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 1 Cor. 13:11, NASB
When the Lord circumcised my heart in August 2004, I was truly amazed at the level of spiritual discernment that came with that blessing. Leading up to this, God had drawn me ever deeper into our relationship. I had been in a deep, close, intimate walk with Him over a period of several weeks. I was fasting from anything that distracted me from my devotion to Him. I was praying, worshiping, studying my Bible, and researching doctrine, all in obedience to His drawing me to Him. Just a few days before Labor Day in 2004 I woke up one morning and knew that everything had changed. It was probably the most joyous and humbling experience I have ever had. I realized right then that I no longer cared for anything except to do His will. His glory was paramount. For someone who had been in bondage to self-focused, flesh oriented, desperate pursuits for self-gratification for over 50 years, this was a genuinely miraculous thing.
Earlier this week Todd Starnes, host of FOX News & Commentary, reported that the Pentagon blocked access to the Southern Baptist Convention’s website because it contained “hostile content” that later was determined to be malware. Today Starnes reports that the Pentagon will free access to the SBC’s website.
The blessings of God are from above; they flow from the Cross of Christ because the blessings are spiritual, not carnal; they are heavenly, not earthly; they are eternal, not temporal. Preaching Christ Crucified continues in its series of studies in Romans.
Christian News Network reports:
A United States Congresswoman rebuked Barack Obama, state government officials and the American public at large on Wednesday for their lack of outrage over the ongoing practice of abortion, especially in light of the trial of “House of Horrors” abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
“My heart breaks that our country has reached a point where we are all not outraged by a practice that ends a beating heart and takes the lives of the most vulnerable in our society,” Representative Diane Black of Tennessee declared on the House floor as the speaker’s gavel pounded to tell her that time was up. “May God forgive us.”
“Strong in faith” means stepping out appropriately based upon what God has said, what He has declared, and what He has promised in His holy Word; yet, at the same time, the term also carries with it another meaning. Preaching Christ Crucified continues its series of studies in Romans.
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36–38, NASB
When I was a young man and even prior to that when I was a teenager, I was quite religious. I went to church with my family and tried to emulate what I saw my parents do in their devotion. I tried to reach a point in my own devotion where I could be fulfilled, wanting to serve God with the joy and fervor I saw in other believers. However, I just could not do it. I found myself bored in church. I found no inner drive to read my Bible. I had no desire to have a consistent devotion to God because there were so many other things in my life that were more important to me than that. I was tormented by the fact that I could not behave consistently “Christian.” I had no self-control in certain situations. Then I would visit my family and attend church with them on Sunday full of remorse and guilt. I would exit the service determined to do good works and not sin anymore. I look back on that time now and almost laugh except it was a horrible conflict in my life at that time. I was convinced that being a Christian consisted of doing Christian things. In that unregenerate mind, a Christian was a Christian because they did those things. That, of course, is works righteousness.
In the ongoing trial of ‘House of Horrors’ abortionist Kermit Gosnell, LifeNews reports:
The judge in the trial of abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell has acquitted him of three of the eight murder charges the abortion business owner faces in his murder trial.
Gosnell faces eight total murder counts — one for killing a woman in a botched abortion and seven for killing babies in abortion-infanticides that involved live-birth abortions and snipping their necks after birth.
Christian News Network reports:
The ACLU of Arkansas has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two abortionists in the state in an effort to overturn a new law that bans abortions past twelve weeks when a heartbeat is detected.
The Associated Press reports:
France legalized gay marriage on Tuesday after a wrenching national debate and protests that flooded the streets of Paris. Legions of officers and water cannon stood ready near France’s National Assembly ahead of the final vote, bracing for possible violence on an issue that galvanized the country’s faltering conservative movement.
From Religion News Service:
When Uwe and Hannelore Romeike’s asylum case is argued Tuesday (April 23) before a panel of federal judges, their lawyers won’t talk about poverty, war, or any of the reasons most immigrants cite in their bid to stay in the U.S.
Instead, they’ll focus on a parent’s right to teach their children at home, which isn’t allowed in the Romeikes’ native Germany. There, home-schooling families face fines, jail time and even loss of custody if their children are not enrolled in a traditional school.
The Romeikes’ lawyers will also talk about their right to teach the Bible during the school day.
For those who may not be aware, today is Earth Day. I have been receiving notifications about Earth Day’s impending arrival for about two weeks, and in my email inbox this morning, I received “Happy Earth Day” messages from a t-shirt company, Aveda, a homeschooling organization, Williams Sonoma, Lindt Chocolates, and many others. But how should Christians think about Earth Day? And what, if anything, should be our response? Continue reading ➛